How Much Nicotine in a Cigarette Compared to Vape?

When vaping or cigarette smoking, we inhale nicotine and other chemicals into our lungs. While studies show that using e-cigarettes is over 90% safer than smoking cigarettes, the truth is, they too pose risks to our well-being. 

So with that said, just how much nicotine is there in a cigarette compared to a vaping device?

The average traditional cigarette has about 12 milligrams of nicotine, but tobacco companies offer products with higher or lower nicotine strength. Some cigarettes deliver as little as 8 mg or as much as 20 mg of nicotine. 

As for vapes, the amount of nicotine varies with the brand, and some e-cigarette users use e-liquid free of nicotine.

This article will discuss the nicotine concentrations in vaping versus smoking. Our comparison begins with a rundown of nicotine before moving on to the contents of these products. 

We’ll also explore the side effects of nicotine usage – so stick around to find out more!

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical compound found in tobacco plants, and it is present in most electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes. Tobacco enthusiasts often become addicted to nicotine and find it difficult to quit.

According to reports, nicotine is just as addictive as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, and a regular smoking habit can lead to withdrawal symptoms and further cravings. 

Those addicted to nicotine find themselves in a vicious cycle of withdrawal and cravings, which is why it’s so difficult to stop smoking.

Unfortunately, heavy nicotine intake can result in life-threatening health problems. It can lead to heart disease, including the hardening of the walls of arteries and increased blood pressure. After a while, continuous abuse can even result in a heart attack.

Cigarettes vs. Vapes

1. Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

As mentioned before, cigarettes vary in their nicotine potency – mild ones feature only 8 mg, while others may pack much more punch.

A single cigarette increases the amount of nicotine in your body. It is absorbed quickly into the lungs, then through the bloodstream, and finally into the brain.

2. Nicotine Levels in a Vape

The nicotine levels in vapes typically differ from one brand to another, but some offer nicotine-free cartridges. This said, e-liquid can come with up to 50 mg of nicotine salts for every milliliter of juice.

Those looking to replicate the effects of a cigarette usually choose an e-juice with between 3 to 15 mg of nicotine per mL of vape juice.

A heavy smoker may go as high as 24 mg per mL of juice. 

How Does Nicotine Affect the Brain?

Inhaling cigarette smoke into our lungs leads to the absorption of the chemical into our blood, and our blood then acts as an express nicotine delivery system right to our brains. 

The whole process is faster than Amazon Prime  –  everything happens in a matter of seconds.

Nicotine stimulates our central nervous system, generating feelings of concentration and pleasure. However, the excitement only lasts for a few minutes before fading, so the slight increase in cognitive function isn’t the selling point here.

Primarily, nicotine alters our secretion of dopamine – the brain’s “reward” chemical – which is a big part of the process that leads to addiction

When we consistently deliver nicotine to our brain, it can also alter the parts of the grey matter governing self-control, learning, and stress. These changes can leave us more prone to addiction, thus allowing for a habit to set in.

Final Thoughts

Using a vape or having a cigarette can bring us pleasure if we keep things under control. However, it has a high potential for addiction. For beneficial results, we should monitor our bodily reactions daily.

The nicotine level in one cigarette is 8 mg, on average, but varies dramatically between e-cigarettes. On the one hand, you can find nicotine-free vapes easily if you want to forego it entirely. On the other hand, some e-cigarettes can have very high nicotine levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vaping better than smoking?

A vape is better than a cigarette to some extent. According to Johns Hopkins, vaping is the lesser of two toxic evils. We inhale roughly 5000 chemicals when we smoke a cigarette, but much less when vaping. 

Still, this shouldn’t imply that vaping is 100% safe, and, of course, the healthiest choice is to quit entirely.

How many cigarettes equal one vape?

Approximately five packs equal 1 mL of vape juice. 

As a rule of thumb, 1 mL of vape juice generates around one hundred puffs. However, the nicotine after-effects from a vape tend to be much more robust than a cigarette.

Is vaping more addictive than cigarettes?

Generally speaking, vapes are less likely to cause nicotine addiction and are often used for smoking cessation. 

Most research suggests that people who smoked cigarettes spent much more money to keep up with their habits. On the other hand, vape users had a higher probability of forgoing their daily intake cycles. 

In other words, vapers are more likely to quit smoking and choose financial stability over continuing to vape.